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Modernising European Higher Music Education through Improvisation
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015, Date de fin: 31 août 2018 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The ‘Modernising European Higher Music Education through Improvisation - METRIC’ project wants to contribute to improving the employability of future music graduates through the artistic, pedagogical and entrepreneurial development of higher music education studies in the area of improvisation as a response to the rapidly changing employment situation in the music profession. In performance curricula of higher music education institutions all over the world, improvisation training is increasingly seen as a crucial component because of the following reasons: - Changes in the role of music in society at large lead to rapid developments in the music profession. The increased interest in a variety of musical styles by music listeners and a decrease of state support to arts generally are examples of these developments. As a result, a shift from fixed types of employment to a situation where musicians are self-employed and combine various professional activities in the form of a portfolio career can be seen all over Europe. The future music profession needs musicians that are flexible in working methods, musical styles and able to work in different professional contexts. Improvisation is seen as a significant skill in the music profession, giving the musicians better opportunities for finding jobs in a wider spectrum of music styles and contexts as artists, teachers and community musicians. - In the 21st century, improvisation is seen as a crucial pedagogical tool for the training of transversal skills, which are fundamental for future musicians. Reflective attitude, peer-learning and team working are basic principles for improvisation practice and these are exactly the skills that will support the musicians to prepare themselves to be reflective participants in their portfolio careers. Therefore, the partner organisations of this project find improvisation to be a vital tool for modernizing higher education in the area of classical music. To support this, strong courses on improvisation need to be developed in higher music education institutions, as they will have a relevant role to play in the mainstreaming of improvisation and its pedagogical and artistic benefits to the professional musician’s training. The project brings students, teachers and leading experts together from different musical backgrounds in 13 European higher music education institutions to develop new and effective approaches and methods on the teaching of improvisation, both from an artistic and pedagogical as well as a professional integration point of view. Teaching staff will be updated or re-trained with information on innovative teaching and learning methods, leading to higher quality teaching. This will result in an increased awareness and understanding of the potential of improvisation in the participating institutions and, through a set of targeted dissemination activities, the higher music education sector at large. Eventually, this will lead to improved employment opportunities for future music students. The project will implement the following activities: 1. A series of working group meetings meeting twice a year to develop intellectual outputs in the form of new teaching and learning (online), and assessment methodologies in improvisation. 2. The organisation of two Intensive Study Programmes (ISPs) where students and teachers can meet around specific themes. The role of these ISPs will be central to the developmental function of the project, as they will further develop and test the intellectual outputs developed in the working groups. 3. A joint staff training event for teachers taking place once with different groups of teachers to address new teaching and learning (online) methodologies and assessment approaches and to compare international standards of educational and artistic outcomes. Teaching staff will also be trained to become international external examiners for assessments in improvisation. 4. The development of joint European Modules in Improvisation through a series of working group meetings. These joint European Modules will ensure that the expertise available in the partner institutions will be pooled into a programme of the highest educational and artistic quality, and provide future sustainability to the activities through a structured future use of ERASMUS+ KA1 funding. 5. The activities, outcomes and the impact of this strategic partnership will be evaluated through various means so that evidence is created that the cross-border approach of the consortium is truly providing an added-value to the development of the institutions at national level only. Through the involvement of the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC) representing around 300 institutions worldwide, the progress and results of the partnership will be widely disseminated as a model of curricular innovation through cross-border cooperation and expected to have a wide impact on the higher music education sector at large.



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